Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Small firms' awareness and knowledge of their legal environment
Author: Kumar, Vidal Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3602 9276
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Small firms constitute the overwhelming majority of enterprises in the UK and are viewed by government as engines of job and wealth creation. There has been a revival of the small firm sector in the UK in recent years but this has coincided with an increase in the volume and complexity of legislation. Political concerns have been expressed about whether the law places too great a burden on small firms and this is the problem giving rise to the present study. There has, however, been a dearth of academic work on the relationship between small firms and the law. In particular, there has been very little empirical enquiry into small firms' awareness and knowledge of their legal environment. The present study seeks to add to knowledge and understanding in this area. It adopts a qualitative methodology and draws on semi-structured interviews carried out with twenty-one small firm owner-managers and eight small business stakeholders. It analyses the extent of small firm awareness and knowledge and the factors affecting it. Because of the dearth of academic literature, legal awareness and knowledge is conceptualised as legal expertise and seen as part of the wider subject of small business support. The literature is interpreted as providing an emerging theory of business support and this is adopted as the theoretical framework for the study. Levels of awareness and knowledge varied widely but acquisition was a low priority unless necessity dictated otherwise. The results do not paint a picture of the small firm 'burdened down' under the weight of regulation. The main theoretical development is the identification of factors affecting awareness and knowledge. These related to the firm, the law and the legal system, and the closeness between the work of the firm and the law. There are also policy implications.
Supervisor: Lewis, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available